Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting ready for this year's countdown...

Starting tomorrow, my blog will be participating on the annual top-20 best albums of the year countdown organized by Gone4Sure, like in the previous two years. This means that each day you will be able to see a post about one of my 20 favourite records of this year. To make things even more interesting, we will be also posting our top-20 albums of the decade that ends as well.

The bloggers participating this year are 84:

dustroad, Dark Tyler, Stratos, lkrory21, Thod, A Pagan Place, Another Day Full Of Dread, mean mr mustards sister, kapetank, Depecher, Narita, Aggelos, oksikemia, inverted_a, laternative (Σταύρος), laternative (Παναγιώτης), No Heathen, Mixalis E, Greg, Schottkey, Gsus, pan pan (μόνο για τη δεκαετία), Chemical Robert, meteoritis, g – airborn toxic events, georgethebeast, blu velvet, Antiparos-blog, Silent Crossing, The Robot, twee, pav, Homo Ludens, Mr. Arkadin, Fotis Vallatos, ibis, Indictos, mimis, nek, humantraFFFic, Michael Sc, enteka, serpentine pad, Dionisis, apotospitimou, lost.ghost, ody, onewillburnmusic, Πάνος, kool thinks, noizine, vkp, tosio murphy, kleine meine, dumb dog, mezzanine, γκαβός και κοντός (μόνο για τη χρονιά), ZacGk, the girl from back then, b side, one man show, Roadrunner, mitrelino, kazama, Thanos, littlefluffuclouds, gogo, cortazar, komp, impressed guy, flp, number 6, musicitizen, soul auctioneer, stereo, lucia, la maestra, arrostia, manbat, giannis Drakos, manolis, Μιχάλης Τσαντίλας, fuzzy burlesque, kostas

I will keep posting the usual design-related things in-between, so I hope it is not too boring for those who do not care about music (I hope you do!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poplie radio show, Sunday 29th of November 2009

This week's show on Poplie was dedicated to dance tracks. Happy, up-beat stuff to make us all dance while making the morning Sunday coffee or preparing Sunday lunch or reading the Sunday papers... hope you enjoy it! Of course you can download it from the link at the right side of this blog, as always. Click on the image to see the playlist.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Klein Bottle House by Mc Bride Charles Ryan at Rye, Australia

This holiday home is situated in sand dunes full of trees, directly behind 16th beach at Rye on the Mornington Peninsula, only two hours from Melbourne. There was in this home to be the sense of arriving at a natural and built environment which was unique and in complete contrast to the owner’s city home.

The architects, Mc Bride Charles Ryan practice in Melbourne, began with the idea of the spiral, an acknowledgement of the end of the weekend journey to the beach. An Australian icon, McIntyre’s 1950’s Snellman House came to mind. As the project developed they carefully considered where the building should be located, its relationship to the prevailing winds, and possible points of entry, topography and vegetation. Subjected to numerous distortions, the topology of the spiral gave way to the topological classic The Klein Bottle.

The architects were keen to remain topologically pure, to distort the shape as need dictates but not to appear to sever this form. The idea of the origami version of the Klein bottle was attractive to them, not just because it was able to be approximated in cement sheet (the resonance with the ubiquitous 1950s fibre shack was compelling) but both because of its beauty and the perversity of an origami Klein Bottle. To accommodate ‘rooms’ within the bottle they thought of them like objects inserted (the ship) within the bottle.

The mathematician’s complex topological surfaces like the Klein bottle are appealing to many architects. They look like the new architecture of the computer age, and hold the promise of new form and spatial sequence. Radically they merge the floor, wall and ceiling, inside and outside. The fact that there are so few examples is evidence that they are actually almost impossible to achieve in reality. In this project, the Klein bottle was the perfect fit to the constraints of the site. Once adopted, the shape of this building had something of a life of its own, the genie was out and she was difficult to temper. The development was intense, the serious pursuit of joyful nonsense.

The result is a unique shape and internal space, an unexpected entry sequence and series of new relationships between the traditional components of the home. The process was also a reminder that architecture does not spring naturally from place, and yet it is the beautiful abstract idea, that when carefully selected and developed can suddenly seem as natural as the tee tree that surrounds it. The building required extensive use of 3d software for both its development and eventual execution.

The building is largely steel framed, the complexity of which required the architects to develop representations for use in the shop drawing and production process. It is a lightweight structure largely clad in cement and metal sheet; incombustible and lightweight, these materials meet stringent fire overlays. It harvests water, is double glazed and the large cavities between the external and internal cladding allow packing with bulk insulation. The central courtyard adds cooling and cross ventilation, Windows are hardwood, the flooring is bamboo and the artificial lighting was selected with efficiency as a primary concern. The project was awarded first prize in the House category at the World Architecture Festival Awards 2009.

This article was first posted on 2Modern Design Talk blog on 22nd of November 2009.

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Tomorrow The Sandman Chronicles radio show on Poplie radio will be dedicated to dance tracks - so "tune in" on Poplie from 12:00 until 14:00 to listen to favourite dance tracks!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poplie radio show, Sunday 22nd of November 2009

This particular radio show on poplie was dedicated to Thessaloniki's 50th International Film Festival, ending today. All the songs featured are used in film soundtracks, either written originally for them or not. Anthony Warlow's version of "The Music Of The Night" from The Phantom Of The Opera is included instead of the film score's Gerard Butler's version as I consider it the best ever recorded. Also the Massive Attack "Safe From Harm" track was featured on The Insider OST in the Perfecto Mix version (the one played on the show is the album original one).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poplie radio show, Sunday 15th of November 2009

Last Sunday's radio show at Poplie is ready for download for all of you who missed the live one - just check the link on the right side of the blog. And I hope you like this week's background image for the playlist (click on it to see it bigger). Since 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars, currently circling approximately 300 km (187 mi) above the Martian surface. On board the MRO is HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, which has been photographing the planet for several years now at resolutions as fine as mere inches per pixel. Photo shows Victoria Crater at Meridiani Planum.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

IKEA 2010 catalogue favourites

I am a bit late in posting my favourites from the IKEA catalogue this year, but better late than never! I must say I am constantly surprised by how many things are still more expensive (sometimes with a big mark up) in Greece than other European countries. And I don't think the market size is the only issue here. Hmmm... Let's check out what attracted me this year.

The cover reminds me so much of a big doll-house...

The yellow wall and the red IKEA PS steel cupboard put a splash of colour I really like here.

The BAROMETER floor lamp (at the forefront by the white sofa) looks amazing - I think I need one in my living room...

The POANG armchair now comes with the Webbing seat in black - and my favourite wood colour, maple.

I love the wall colour (green of course, how surprising) and what they did with the photos and sketche around the door - brilliant idea!

This bed is great, with lots of storage room under it. The head board is an old - time favourite that returns, but the pine wood makes it hard to combine with my own (maple), so I am not getting it.

Another great bed, especially for kids-teens, but I'd rather have it in white.

Great set-up although it does feel a bit hotel-room like.

Green things - hurrah! The glass IKEA PS BRUNN vase is a new favourite.

The star of this year's catalogue, the PS MASKROS pendant lamp, designed by Marcus Arvonen is a masterpiece! And I am proud to call it my own!

Great price for these, and they do come really handy in the kitchen!

This entrance area is looking so cool. I might get one of these for my own hall too!

Formerly a kitchen/living room table, it now metamorphoses into a desk. Lovely.

Green wool carpet...mmm... what? Oh yes, I do have two cats... one can dream though...

The green panels might soon find a way into my living room and dining room too...

The KULLA pendant lamp looks very stylish in black.

Another great desk lamp, FORSA reminds me of the Pixar famous animated lamp.

All images courtesy of IKEA. This blog is in no way affiliated with IKEA and it's Greek representative.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brushing with furniture - surreal design by Jason Taylor

Jason Taylor is a British designer with a surreal eye when it comes to everyday objects. I was particularly drawn to his "honey-I-blew-up-the-brush" furniture. They would be ideal if one could clean up the house with them too! Check his website for more quirky stuff.

Via designmilk

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Poplie radio show, Sunday 8th of November 2009

Special show today as it is my name day celebration! Featuring voices that I love listening to, most of the singers heard today on the show have played a major part in shaping my early musical influences. From the breathy, ethereal voice of Olivia Newton-John to the raspy voice of Kim Carnes, through jazz-influenced Joni Mitchell and Rickie Lee- Jones to exotic Kate Bush, women's voices are dominating the playlist. You can download the show from the right side of this blog. I hope you enjoy it! Background photo by Irving Penn.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Poplie radio show, Sunday 1st of November 2009

The first show for November had the first hour seemingly in business as usual mode, but he second hour was filled with atmospheric songs, ethereal voices and a magnificent piano ending courtesy of Philip Glass; although the piece is from 1988, I first heard it on the Battlestar Galactica series, hence the background photo. If you click on it, you can see the playlist . Hope you enjoy the show, which can be downloaded from the right column of this blog.